Understanding network law


In the context of information technology, network law is not only the regulations and legislation that apply the internet, but also the internal networks that many homes and businesses now have. As the internet has grown from a collection of web pages to a commercial space just like the high street, so the regulations that govern these networks have also developed.

Network law for online retailers means complying with, in the first instance, the distance selling regulations. These apply to anyone that sells goods or services online. Your online store must comply fully with this piece of law.

There are also privacy and electronic communications network regulations that your business must comply with. And lastly, the European E-Commerce Directive is now in force as part of the network law in the E-commerce Regulations that the UK is part of.

Inside a business or home, network law also applies. You should have clear guidelines that state how your networks can be accessed and used by your employees. Even in home-based networks, network law must be complied with. For instance, if you are using your neighbour’s internet connection over a wireless network, this could be seen as theft of the bandwidth they are paying for.

Network law has had to evolve to take into consideration the massive growth of online social networks. The law here tends to centre around privacy laws and the protection of children as they use these networks. You should be aware of the Computer Misuse Act and the obscenity laws that could impact on your use of these networks.

In all cases the use of a qualified solicitor can give you or your company help and advice about how to set up and use its networks. Network law can be complex, as it often has a criminal and civil component to it. And if you are accused of breaking any of the network laws that are currently in force, always contact a solicitor that has specialised knowledge in this area, as they can represent you during your case.

If you would like to obtain legal advice about computer network law, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist internet technology / IT solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local internet technology / IT solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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